s the owl-wolf kicked its clawed feet off of me, its jaw tightening on the axe as if it was attempting to pull the weapon away and disarm me.

I gripped the haft of the axe tightly and thrust downward, stepping into the beast and pushing further with the weight of gravity behind me.

~Shlunk~

The bladed end cut through the head of the beast as it landed backwards into the ground, me and my weapon landing atop it. A pile of limp flesh beneath me, I pushed up and stood once again.

One. Two. Three. Four….

Four more wolves snarled their displeasure and desire to kill at me as I gasped for air, my stamina running dangerously low.

This wasn going to work.. They would wear me out before I could kill them all, and they knew it.

”Your ultimate, Lord Kenneth. Use it. ” Iros called out lazily from afar, as if he was only half watching.

Glancing left and right at the stalking predators before me, I considered his advice… Though we had practiced that riff exclusively for hours… Nothing had happened before, there would be no guarantee of its success

Once again I forced myself to thrust aside those kinds of negative thoughts. Iros was a natural denizen of this world and understood its functions and these types of situations clearly. If he thought it would work… Then I needed to trust that it would…

But then again… Trust? A stranger that I had barely known for a single day? A sludge boiled within the pit of my stomach as I considered why we were out here in the first place. Out in a dangerous forest in the dark of night… To lie and cheat my mother out of heartache she would eventually feel no matter what…

”RRRRGGHHHHAAA ” I shouted with increasing shame, refusing to run from my failure as a son. Taking up the guitar I twirled it into its instrumental position. This was my chance at a better life, I couldn fall into old self serving habits, and so… Placing my fingers on the frets I plucked the first note of my ultimate ability.

~Duuuuun~ A grungy metal sound strummed free from the guitars pickup. A surge of strength welled up within me once more as I played the first power chord. And somehow I knew that this time, I could do it.

~Do-do-dooo, Dado dado, do-do-dooo, dado dado do-do-dooo~ My fingers stretched wildly and blazed through the notes as my other hand picked the strings with precision.

//

(A/N for readers who would like to know and even listen to the song Ken is playing right now, tune your audio to the song ”Master of puppets, by Metallica ”

Power welled up within me as my fingers took on a mind of their own, lost within the magic of my ultimate ability as note after subsequent power note filled the air. A rumbling shook beneath my feet as soft earth began to pitch and sway.

A single bone white arm broke free of the ground first, followed by a second, then a third, then a fifth, tenth, twentieth, hundredth… Sweat began to dribble from my head as a rocking sway took me over, lost within the performance. The bone arms took the horned owl-wolves in their grasp, preventing them from fleeing as the music grew.

The skeleton arms continued to multiply under the entire forest floor until I stood rocking out atop an undulating sea of bones. I felt the sea forming to my will, to the will of the notes played. Willing the wave forward, I surfed atop the bones until they washed over the first owl-wolf, a mist of blood spraying up and over me. Spinning around three hundred and sixty degrees, the wave swelled and rose, taking in the second and the third owl-wolves, disbursing them into another bloody mist.

Just one more horned owl-wolf remained, its missing left eye weeping blood as I commanded the wave onward. My eyes met its remaining one, and it seemed to almost plead for its life…. The final note rang out into the cold misty night air as the sea of bones thrust me high into the sky. Twirling Bloody Melody in my hands I slashed downward in an arc, thudding into the horned owl-wolfs skull with a final

~Thunk~

As the music faded into the forest, I stood there heaving and panting, awash in the gore and viscera of dead wolves. A small clap lilted into my ears, pulling my gaze away from the single glassy eye of the dead owl-wolf.

”Lord Kenneth. I do believe THAT is a skill worthy of a god touched. ” He said with a faint smirk.

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